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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  December 15, 2010 10:00pm-12:00am EST

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and i wish you well. i wish you well. we're going to miss you. >> larry: hope i didn't upset any makeup. >> oh, god no. no, no, no. >> larry: barbra streisand, the book is "my passion for design" available everywhere books are sold. >> oh, thank you so much. >> larry: tomorrow night will be the last night of "larry king live." there will be, by the way, for two weeks they're going to show highlight shows right through new year's eve, and then we'll be doing specials and you'll be hearing lots from us, but tomorrow night so you are our next-to-last. >> oh, lovely. thank you. >> larry: "ac 360" and anderson >> larry: "ac 360" and anderson cooper are next. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com tonight, senator joe lieberman says the votes are there, including five republicans for lifting don't ask, don't tell. lawmakers, racing to do that and a whole lot more. but now they're fighting over working through the holidays. some republicans, accusing democrats of disrespecting christmas and christians. we're keeping them honest. >> also surgery for the obese,
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at least it used to be just for the very obese. now millions more americans could be eligible for what's called lap-band surgery. but do the people pushing it, the companies pushing it, really have the data to show that it works and it's safe? who's looking out for you? dr. phil mcgraw and sanjay gupta join us. and a deeper look at what happened in that dramatic meeting room as a gunman came in and opened fire on a school board. new details of who he was and the amazing stories of survival, that's coming up. we begin as always keeping them honest with major developments on repealing don't ask don't tell, and a major argument over whether or not congress should keep working into the christmas holiday. in a moment, we're going to actually show you just how many days a year congress actually does work and compare that to how many days a year, well, just about everybody else has to work. but first, the debate begain and the house voted on the bill, to
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lift don't ask, don't tell. >> the yeas are 250. the nays are 175. the motion is adopted. without objection, a motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. >> well, in a moment we'll talk to senator joe lieberman who says that now he has enough votes, enough republican votes even, to pass it in the senate. majority leader harry reid has the power, if he wants to use it, to bring it to the floor for vote as early as tomorrow. senator reid's office says it's likely going to happen late next week. meantime, opponents of the appeal and ratifying of the s.t.a.r.t. nuclear arms treat is angry at the plan to keep them in washington next week and it touched off a food fight seems like you only can have in washington, d.c. only this time the senators who don't want to miss out on their vacation are bringing christianity into the argument. >> it is impossible to do all of the things that the majority leader laid out without doing
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frankly without disrespecting the institution and without disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for christians and the families of all of the senate, not just the senators themselves, but all of the staff. >> senator jim demint echoed that argument telling politico and i quote, we shouldn't be jamming a major arms control treaty up against christmas. it's sacreligious and disrespectful. what's going on is wrong. this is the most say kret holiday for christians. they did the same thing last year, they kept everybody here until christmas eve to force something down everybody's throat. i think americans are sick of this. harry reid shot back with this. >> i don't need to hear the lectures of senator kyl and demint to remind me of what christmas means. my question, madam president, is where were there concerns about christmases filibuster after filibuster on major pieces of legislation during this entire congress? not once, but 87 times.
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>> all right. for the record, senator reid is right there, there have been 87 filibusters, but also for the record, democrats joined some of those filibusters and as recently as last week with the clock ticking down toward the holds, independent senator bernie sanders took up nine hours of senate time speaking against the tax deal. as for the complaints by congress people about having to work until christmas, only in washington would that seem like a crazy idea. and it got us wondering how much do these congress people actually work in washington, d.c.? well, take a look at the numbers. 123 and 151. that's how man days the house and senate have actually been in session so far this year. 123 and 151. now, traditionally they don't like to work on friday so they can all go back to their districts and raise money and shake hands and try to get themselves re-elected which is certainly work, but it's not the kind of work that actually gets legislation passed. by the way, according to the bureau of labor statistics, the average american with a full-time job with five years on the job, they get 14 paid
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vacation days and 11 sick days. allowing for the weekends, that adds up to 220 workdays, the average american has worked 71 more days so far this year than senators have. nearly 100 more days than house members. and that's not counting the holidays. i know working during the holidays is not fun, but people whose jobs are essential, they do it all the time. airline employees, doctors, nurses, police, firefighters, utility crews, trash collectors, you name it. they work because they have important and essential jobs. wouldn't it be nice to think that our representatives also considered their jobs important and essential? senator joe lieberman, like reid and a number of republicans, are willing to work through the holiday this year to finish the job, especially on don't ask, don't tell. i spoke with senator lieberman about what he sees as growing chance of repealing the policy early tonight. senator lieberman, you said this has been a thrilling day. >> well, most thrilling is the vote in the house of representatives which acted on
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our standalone bill, passed the repeal by a larger margin than when the repeal was adopted by the house in may, and picked up ten more republicans. so this now comes to the senate with some real momentum. and here's the other good news today and i fake it take it to thrilling as well, olympia snowe, republican of maine, will vote on don't ask, don't tell, that means we've got 61 members of the u.s. senate publicly committed to the repeal of don't ask, don't tell. so all that will stop that repeal is a totally unacceptable refusal to bring our measure up in a timely way. we've got to get this done. we can get it done. it's an injustice. it's time for it to go. >> having all those republicans sign measures that say they're not going to do anything until the tax cut deal is done? >> yeah. so the tax cut -- actually, the tax cut is of course passed the
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senate, now today. the republicans who signed that letter said they wouldn't take anything else up until the appropriations passed. i think that will happen this weekend. it's pretty clear to all of us that we're going to stay here into next week. let me just get down into the weeds quickly a little bit. the house of representatives, with very strong support from the leadership, is sending the repeal of don't ask, don't tell legislation to the senate under a special procedure, which means that senator reid can take it up at any time he wants and going to the bill is not subject to a filibuster. that saves us two or three days of calendar time. we can get this whole thing done in 2 1/2 or maybe three days. if we're not capable of taking the time to do something that the secretary of defense, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff want us to do, that everybody in the country, or most people acknowledge, is an injustice, shame on us. i think we're going to make it happen before we leave.
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>> there have been a number of folks who are saying the repeal's fate is going to come down to basically a proxy war between the president and your friend, senator john mccain, and whoever does more to try to exert their influence in the last days is going to win. do you think that's a fair assessment? >> look. there may be a battle there, but we've got 61 votes. i've been saying this, people thought i was puffing, but i knew i had those votes and i know i've got at least one more republican who will come with me. and you know, in the senate, you don't need 51, you need 60. we've now got 61 and i believe 62. so whatever is going on between other figures about this legislation, the 62 senators have to work their will. and it would be disappointing to the point of infuriating if with that kind of support in the senate, having passed the house today, that the repeal of don't ask, don't tell is not accomplished before christmas. we've got to do it. >> and the top general in the
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marine corps, general james amos has just recently said that he thinks repealing it would be a, quote, distraction for marines in combat, suggested this could result in more casualties. were you surprised he made those comments at this critical juncture? and do you think those comments have had an impact on anybody? >> i was very surprised by general amos's comments. i know he's against the repeal. i respectfully just think he's absolutely wrong. 84% of marines who have served with gay or lesbian marines say that it has absolutely no effect on their functioning on their morale, cohesiveness or effectiveness. so that's the opinion of rank and file marines. >> when do you see the senate actually voting on this? >> well, you know, anderson, because the house leadership sent this repeal to the senate under what they call a special message category, senator reid could take it up tomorrow.
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my guess is he'll wait until after we finish the appropriations bill over the weekend and so i hope it could come up sunday or monday of next week. and i -- i really believe that after the tax cuts have been passed, which they have been in the senate, the spending bills for the government are approved, this is the next most important and urgent thing to do. let me just talk straight, hard, political reality. if we don't repeal don't ask, don't tell in this 111th session of congress, the new congress, i'm afraid, is not going to repeal it, and then we'll have to depend on the courts to repeal it, and secretary gates and the defense department have made it clear as recently as today in responding to the house vote how urgent they feel it is that the congress give them the authority to carry out the repeal of don't ask, don't tell in an orderly way, that will not arm the military, instead of letting a court come in and perhaps creating chaos.
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>> do you feel like you're on the cusp of history here? >> i do. i think that the overall movement to end discrimination against our fellow americans based on their sexual orientation is the front lines today of the civil rights movement. and i think if we can do the repeal of don't ask, don't tell in this session, it's going to be an historic accomplishment. >> senator joe lieberman, i appreciate your time, sir. thank you. >> thank you, anderson. >> senator lieberman definitely sound optimistic. those against it still dug in, listen to what louie gohmert said about the idea that history would judge this congress poorly if the law was repealed. >> to my friend who said history will judge us poorly, i will submit if you look thoroughly at history, and i'm not saying it's cause and effect, but when militaries throughout history of the greatest nations in the world have adopted the policy that, fine, for homosexuality to
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be overt, if you can't, that's fine too, they're toward the end of their existence as a great nation. >> now, keeping them honest, mr. gohmert doesn't offer evidence or specifics about what nations he's talking about. we're not able to fact check roman military policy or greek, ancient greek military policy as it relates to gays serving openly. we can look at nations currently letting gays serve openly. here it is, the biggest ones, australia, belgium, canada, france, germany, israel, south africa, and the united kingdom, among others. 25 in all. can you decide for yourself if they're the end of their existence as great nations as congressman gohmert suggests. i spoke with repealing don't ask, don't tell as well as the congressional work ethic tonight with paul begala and dana loesch, editor at bigjournalism.com and radio host in st. louis.
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paul, we just heard lieberman sounding optimistic for repeal but others sounded optimistic before last week's vote as well. how confident are you about the chances now? >> you know, it's usually a safe bet things die in the senate. that's been the pattern for many years now. but senator lieberman's been working this issue hard. i'm impressed senator snowe has come out in favor of it. president obama i know called her last week and personally lobbied her on this, so with her addition, the don't ask, don't tell repeal lost by three the last time around. so she comes around, so now the supporters only need two more. well, lisa murkowski, the senator from alaska, republican, says she supports repeal. scott browne, senator from massachusetts, republican, he supports repeal. blanche lincoln, still senator from arkansas, she supports repeal but was at the dentist. >> she was at the dentist last time. >> maybe even joe manchin. so you just need two out of those four. it's getting awfully close. so forgive me for being a little
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optimistic. >> what do you think of the brouhaha over people's schedules. a week until christmas, i'm working today, you're working today, most of the country is working today. firefighters, policemen, people with important jobs work on christmas day, work on christmas eve. are senators' complaints making any sense here about, you know -- is this really the kind of argument that's going to fly with most americans that they don't want to work up until christmas? >> yeah, i don't think so, anderson. i have no sympathy for elected officials. they knew what they were signing on for when they decided to run for elected office and when they were campaigning and they're in it for the long haul. this is about the future of the country. there's a lot of huge things at stake here and it's not like they're on the street in the cold in washington, d.c. under a cardboard box. they're in the capitol building. they have nice accommodations. so i don't feel -- i don't feel sorry for them at all. >> paul, any time, like i complain about my job or listen to these people on capitol hill complain about their jobs, like
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there are folks working in coal mines around the clock. people working all night long in bakeries, you know, and as dana said, delivering newspapers out in the cold. it kind of makes my head explode. >> in fact, this is -- it's senator kyl of arizona, republican, who's like the chief whiner about this. and senator kyl and all of his republican colleagues are the guys who blocked even debating the 9/11 health care bill. i mean, this is -- there's 58,000 men and women who inhaled frankly inhaled the pulverized particles of the world trade center. many of them are ill. they need health care. it's a national priority. the republicans filibustered against that. i guess that's in keeping with the christmas season as senator kyl is very concerned about offending his christmas celebrations. jesus would have wanted those 9/11 first responders to not need health care. >> oh, i heard reid talk about christ earlier on the floor. >> this is the republican
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talking floor. somehow if republicans have to work somehow that offends jesus. >> that's not all the republicans' talking point. >> yes, republicans are saying this. they want to go home because jesus would want -- >> democrats had two years. what were they doing? twiddling their thumbs? we wouldn't even be having this discussion if they had been doing something. >> this is like lincoln told the story about the man who murdered his parents and threw himself on the mercy of the court because he was an orphan, the republicans caused this. they delayed, delayed, delayed, now they want to invoke jesus because it will offend jesus if we have like a nuclear arms treaty. jesus would want us to not control nuclear arms with the russians. it's nut. >> you have tens of thousands of u.s. forces serving overseas and in iraq and afghanistan for people to be complaining about their work schedule, for public officials to be complaining about their work schedule just boggles my mind. but realistically, time is running short. there is a whole lot left on the senate's plate, even if they work every available minute, can
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they wrap up their lame duck agenda? >> the problem is the majority doesn't rule in the senate. the senate is supposed to be deliberative and slow and difficult but it also, and i've checked the constitution, it's supposed to run on a majority. not 60. >> yes. >> 50. and the democrats have tried in good faith to bring up this legislation. the republicans have, using the filibuster rule which was only used once our twice a year. >> it used to be 67 votes instead of 60 and it was a democrat who changed it. >> they even filibustered the help for these 9/11 first responde responders. they'll filibuster anything in order to get their tax cuts for the rich. >> don't even go down the tax cuts for the rich paul. >> no, jesus said. didn't he say it's more difficult for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for the poor person -- >> that's the 11th commandment. did you know that? that's the little known 11th commandment, written on the side margin of the tablets that moses had, thou shalt not pimp jesus for the sake of an argument.
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because it was written on the side because there wasn't enough room. >> i'm picking up the motif the republicans have given us. senator kyl has said that somehow it's going to offend the baby jesus if these guys have to work over the holiday and i just -- i've been -- >> pass the big porker omnibus bill for jesus. what would jesus spend. >> i haven't heard jesus mentioned so much in a political debate from both the left and the right. i think we're going to leave it there. paul begala and dana loesch, thank you. >> god bless you. >> all right. let us know what you think. the live chat up and running at ac360.com. the families of the 11 workers who died on that rig are getting the short end thanks to a law dating back to 1920. democrats and republicans want to change the law and have been talking about it since the summer. basically one lawmaker standing in the way right now, we'll name names, keeping them honest and talk to the father of one of the
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killed workers. and we'll warn i, tyou, the images are shocking. we're talking about the shooting at a school board meeting. new details on the gunman that tried but fortunately failed to become a mass murderer. >> i don't think anything was going through my mind except for the fact these guys were sitting ducks. they were lined up like pigeons on a wire. [ male announcer ] this is lara.
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today, the justice department announced a massive civil action against bp drilling contractor transocean and several other defendants in the bp oil spill, accusing them of failing to take necessary precautions to prevent the blowout, seeking liability under the federal oil pollution act plus fines under the clean water act. remember, now, rk, 11 rig worke died. but an obscure law from 1920 limits what their families can collect. keith jones is the father of
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gordon jones who died on the deepwater horizon and left a wife and a baby behind. >> we know gordon's body was cremated. then the fire boats washed his ashes out to sea. i admit having nothing to say good-bye to is much, much harder than i thought it would be. call it closure or whatever, something is missing for us. if you want these companies, one of which is headquartered in great britain and another in switzerland, to make every effort to make sure their employees don't act as these did, putting american lives at risk, you must make certain they're exposed to pain and the only place they can feel it, their bank accounts. as a friend recently said, make them hurt where their heart would be if they had a heart.
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>> as we mentioned, this obscure law called the death on the high seas act, passed in 1920, it limits what gordon's family and others can collect, lost wages and income, not for example the pain of growing up without a father or spouse's loss of companionship and care. changing the law, it's got a lot of bipartisan support. a measure passed the house back in july, but similar legislation has now stalled in the senate largely because of a single senator, republican jim demint. >> is there objection? >> reserving the right to object, madam president, this is a nation of laws not of men. it destroys that whole foundation to our legal system when we make retroactive law. this bill has not been vetted properly by a committee, and again, it undermines our whole system of the rule of law. so i am compelled to object. >> that was senator jim demint, republican of south carolina, last week. a spokesman explaining his
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action in a statement today, quote, while senator demint sympathizes with the victims of this tragedy, he's concerned congress should not retroactively change the law to specifically affect pending legislation. in english, he doesn't want to change the rules in the middle of the game. leaving aside the fact this is not a game, senator demint has actually done precisely this before. he's actually changed the rules involving exactly the same law. keeping them honest, ten years ago the death on the high seas act was amended after the twa 800 crash to provide compensation for the surviving families of a group of school kids who died on board. and guess who one of the lawmakers who supported that change was? then-congressman jim demint. same law, similar changes. so why now the difference? well, earlier this year senator demint also blocked a bill that would have given the bipartisan commission investigating the bp spill subpoena power. is it the changing the law back only affected a dying airline
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not a multi national oil company? well, you can decide that for yourself. we're joined now by attorney keith jones' father, gordon jones who died on the deepwater horizon. you say this is draconian, outdated and frankly unfair. >> well, of course it is. i think we looked at wrongful death in 1920 differently than we do now. back then, the -- it seems like -- well, for one thing, industrial accidents there were a lot more wrongful deaths than there are now. but we've come to realize in this country that a life is a whole lot more than just a paycheck. i know my daughter-in-law and grandsons have lost far, far more than just monthly income. >> what's so frustrating about this, the house version of this legislation passed this summer, had a lot of support, passed in july. you expected it to pass with unanimous consent in the senate. now people aren't paying attention, the media's not paying attention as much as they were. were you surprised when senator
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demint blocked it? >> i was surprised. first of all, although the bill that we got through the house was very wide range being and broad and made the death on the high seas act fair for everybody, the bill, because of the interests of special interest influence has been reduced now to providing more adequate damages only for the victims of the deepwater horizon. it won't affect anything in our american judicial system that senator demint's so worried about, other than just these claims by these 11 families. so i was surprised when he objected. no one in his -- on his staff had every indicated -- my son visited his office and no one indicated he would object. but what astonishes me is that he's still the only man in the senate, only senator who objects. and despite the fact that it is
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99-1 or whatever, he won't relent. his staffer keeps explaining to me that he has the right to do it and the power to do it. and i don't question that. he's a powerful man and he's exerting that power on these 11 families, but to what end? that's the part i don't understand. the retroactivity issue is -- he's turned on its head. the united states supreme court first decided congress could pass laws that retroactively affect pending cases back in 1800. they've made dozens of decisions that said the same thing, that's always been our law. >> right. >> congress has always had that power. >> well, also, i mean -- >> and to say -- >> i'm sorry. especially when you could say, okay, he's making a principled stand or whatever, but when you look at his own record on this very same law regarding twa flight 800, then, you know, it doesn't make sense.
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>> and since i haven't been able yet to speak to senator demint and i suppose i never will, i've had to speak to the policy staffer that will discuss it with me, and she just says she has no explanation for it. the senator has no explanation for it. they say that was ten years ago, that's the way he voted then, but he's not going to vote that way now, and why there's a difference, i wish i knew. >> yeah. >> i could appeal to him on the basis of that, i suppose. >> we obviously invited him on the program tonight. he declined that invitation. we will continue to figure out an answer if we can from him. i just wanted to ask, i talked to you a little in the break, but your son died on the deepwater horizon. i know these are the first holidays your family is facing without him. how are you guys holding up? >> well, michelle and those boys
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have a lot of family and friends that love him very much, and are doing everything they can to support them. but the holidays are not easy. i -- i'm kind of new at this. i never really lost anybody before, let alone my youngest child. and i -- as i told you in the break, i never thought i'd say i dread christmas, but i do. >> yeah. i was telling you again during the break when i lost my brother and even my dad when i was a kid, it took me years to be able to celebrate christmas again, and even now it's -- i think for anyone who's lost somebody around the holidays it's a bittersweet time. but i've been thinking about you and gordon especially on thanks giving, i really was thinking about you guys and i'm glad you're on tonight, and we'll continue to follow this for justice to be done. keith jones, thank you. >> thank you, anderson. next coming up in crime and punishment, it was an unthinkable scenario, played out what should have been a typical school board meeting in florida,
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a gunman opening fire before he got wounded by a security guard, turning the gun on himself. board members describing a simply surreal scene, as you see it for yourself. >> if you have could have seen that gentleman's eyes, this was going to happen. you saw him, this was going to happen. we could have had this place like ft. knox and he would have shot us. >> so who was that shooter? what was it about that guy? we're going to find out the new details tonight. and later, there soon could be new guidelines for who qualifies for weight loss surgery, actually lowering the fle threshold for who should get a lap-band. they're lowering the standards for what obese means, the company that stands to make a whole lot more money if more people qualify for the lap-band. they actually sponsored the study that suggested lowering this. so is that fair? we'll talk to dr. phil mcgraw and dr. sanjay gupta in what it means in the fight against obesity coming up. [ female announcer ] fact: the medicine in children's advil® is the #1
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tonight in crime and punishment, it began as a routine school board meeting in panama city, florida, turned into a horrifying scene, want to warn you again, it is disturbing. 56-year-old clay duke, we now
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know his name, brandishing a gun, ordered everybody but six male board members out of the room and amazingly none of the members got hit. duke was wounded by a security guard and then killed himself. after duke ordered everyone out but the six men, board member ginger littleton came back in, tried to knock the gun out of his hand with her purse. take a look. >> go ahead. >> who's your wife? >> no, no, ginger. >> what could ginger have been thinking, incredibly brave. today she told the story. >> that's pretty much what was going through my mind. i was concerned about my guys. they were lined up like ducks in a row. he was already basically standing on the same level with them. i knew something bad was going to happen. that was my only option was to see if i could at least divert
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him or somehow or other detain until somebody got there to help us. because my guys had three ring binders and pencils for protection and that was all. my thought was that plan a had failed and i didn't have a plan b, which was probably not one of the smartest things i ever did. he wanted to be killed rather than kill, but as time passed, obviously it appeared he was getting more and more ready to do some real damage. >> ginger, the other folks in the room, say was surreal, life changing moment that left them without sleep and trying to make sense of what happened and also left a big question to which we're starting to get answers, just who was the shooter, clay duke? tom foreman investigates. >> please don't. please don't. please. >> reporter: the school board members who came under fire from clay duke did not know at the time who he was. only that he seemed intent on violence. >> if you could have seen that gentleman's eyes, this was going
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to happen. >> he had the gun and we felt helpless. >> reporter: now much more is known. duke was 56 and police say fixated on this movie, "v for vendetta" the sale of a lone fighter standing up to refregs. >> those responsible will be held accountable. >> reporter: along with military tactical books and anti-government, investigators found a copy of the victim in clay's home. he painted a symbol from the story on the school boardroom wall and it also topped what appeared to be his facebook page, along with this. some people, the government sponsored media will say i was evil. a monster. "v." no. i was just born poor in a country where the wealthy membership, use, abuse, and economically enslave 95% of the population. rich republicans, rich democrats, same-same. >> i think it's just safe to say at this point that obviously mr. duke had some mental health issues that he was addressing and suffering from and that that may have in some way, shape or
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form played into how that come about. >> reporter: an attorney who once represented him says 11 years ago clay duke stalked a former wife with an ak-47 rifle, a silencer, mask and bullet-proof vest. even firing a shot at her car. he says duke was diagnose the as bipolar, that he was a survivalalist let go from a navy job for making threatening remarks. further more at the time he says duke was stuck on the idea that the year 2000 was going to signal some sort of cataclysm. nonetheless, duke agreed to a plea deal, spent the better part of five years in prison and came off parole just last february. when he entered the school board meeting, police say he was carrying a 9 millimeter pistol. the only fact he revealed, he said his wife had been fired by the schools. >> we have clarified this morning that in fact she had
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been employed as a teacher by the school board and within the last year her employment had been terminated. >> reporter: it's not clear why but she says she is now broke and suggests the couple's difficulties may have pushed her husband over the edge. >> he had changed. he'd been on medication. he had not been a problem to anyone. his records through prison, through his probation, through everything from being off, he was trying to make it. trying to get a second chance. doing everything he could on his part. but other people wouldn't give him a chance. >> please don't. >> reporter: now this fact is also known. clay duke followed a long and troubled road to his violent death. tom foreman, cnn. >> it's an interesting to note, mike jones, chief of security for the school estimate is obviously being hailed as a hero for stopping duke.
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it's not the first time he's been recognized for being a stand-up guy. he was on the oprah show ten years ago, honored for his role in salvage santa, a program to rebuild bikes and toys for needy kids. a lot more going on tonight, susan hendricks joins us. >> an intensive search is under way in arizona for a suspect wanted in the shooting of a u.s. border agent. four others are in custody. brian terry was killed while patrolling a remote area just north of nogales. a former parliament member convicted of plotting to blow up airport fuel tanks at jfk international airport was sentenced to life in prison, one of four who face charges in the 2007 plot. asylum seekers trying to reach australia sadly died within site of their destination. their boast slammed on approach to christmas island. the boat was carrying people from iraq and iran who wanted to
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start new life in australia. and here's something you don't expect to find on a beach, a statue estimated to be 2,000 years old, discovered in israel after a cliff collapsed in a storm. it's about four feet tall and weighs 440 pounds. it was found without a head or arms. >> wow, that's cool. >> yeah. >> all right, susan. thanks. still ahead, the weight loss surgery that could soon be approved for millions more americans. does the data support changing the rules for lap-band surgery? is it safe? dr. phil mcgraw and dr. sanjay gupta join me to talk about a controversial vote. and we'll tell you were this guy ended up on the ridiculist. note to would-be thieves, he may be a sign of the times but not in a good way.
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medicine, money and a serious health crisis, a third of american adults are obese. we hear about the epidemic all the time and how much it costs the health care system. i want to show you something. take a look at this ad. >> i tried diets, diet pills, exercise programs. nothing worked. then my doctor recommended the lap-band system. >> that's an ad for lap-band surgery, a type of weight loss surgery heavily promoted by companies that obviously make the bands that are used. now the company with the biggest share of the market is a company called alergen, its lap-band sales were $182 million in the first three quarters of this year, although sales have been kind of dropping. a lot of money. but about 4% less than last year, according to news reports, which may explain why they're trying to expand the market for its lap-band and asking the fda
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to approve the device for less obese people. right now it's only approved for people with a body mass index or bmi of 40, or those with a bmi of 35 who have health problems like diabetes. the company wants to lower those bmi cutoffs to 35 and 30. a panel recently voted to lower the bmi cutoffs. a final decision from the fda is pending. 27 million more people could qualify for the surgery. that's a huge number. but here's what has some people crying foul. the study that the panel based its decision on, guess who they were sponsored by? study was conducted by alergen, the same company that stands to benefit from the ruling. the chairman actually owns stock in the company, and the fda told us she was given a waiver to sit on the panel and didn't actually cast a vote. but four panelists who did vote reportedly have financial ties to the company. a fda spokesperson was unable to
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confirm those reported ties and said she'd get back to us and we're still waiting to hear from her. i want to make this very clear. this story is complex because for some severely obese patients this type of surgery can be vital, even life-saving treatment. but right now there aren't long-term studies showing how well it works in less severely-obese people. i talked about all this with sanjay gupta and phil mcgraw. sanjay, how does the surgery work exactly? it's different than the gastric bypass surgery. >> that's right. gastric bypass is more invasive, this is still invasive to be clear, they classify it as minimally invasive. but basically think of it like this. i mean, you're essentially putting a band, in this case it's sort of a silicone band and wrapping it around the stomach. think of it like a seat belt, if you will, and you're trying to shrink the size of the stomach. you see the band there. over time that band sort of just creates a smaller pouch and the theory is that as a result you eat less, have less appetite.
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that's what they say, makes this work. >> so under the new guidelines you're talking about tens of millions of people who would suddenly be qualified to have this surgery. dr. phil, are people going to hear this and then say why bother dieting? if suddenly, you know, this surgery is easily accessible? >> that's the problem, anderson, and i think sanjay will probably agree with this. i think this is one of the most misperceived procedures out there, both gastric bypass and lap-band. people think this is the easy way. and if you ever talk to anybody that's had one of these procedures, they will tell you it's anything but easy. and the problem -- you can hear them talk all they want, the rhetoric about, well, this can help with diabetes or hypertension, and there's always a return to health when you lose weight, but what's going to draw people to this, you think, okay, finally i have an appetite control and i can lose weight. but this is not easy. there are side effects and over 70% of the cases. people have pain, vomiting,
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there are all of the normal complications you can have with surgery. and the long-term effects of this have yet to be well demonstrated. there's one way and one way only that you can lose weight and keep it off and that is to alter your lifestyle. >> i was reading this study, sanjay. do we really know enough about the risks associated with this, to be offering it up as a solution to obesity? the study was limited, only 149 people were studied, most of them white women, not a lot of african-americans or hispanics or men in the study, and it was actually sponsored by alergen, the maker of this band. >> you know i think that's a really good point. and even though it was supposed to be a five-year study, the data that was actually presented to this advisory committee was just about a year's worth of data. and to dr. phil's point, people may gain this weight back over time. so that's a real concern as well. that band may stretch. there are real potential complications of this particular band. it is fair, a lot of companies that make drugs or do procedures
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a lot of times will fund the studies on those particular drugs or procedures, but in this case, the real question was, you know, you're opening this up potentially to 27 million more people. and it's sort of, you know, it was sort of always thought of as a last resort, possibly going to some sort of operation. in this case they're sort of seeming to move the line even earlier. >> you know, just on the face of it, dr. phil, and i know nothing about this company, i have nothing against them, but i'm reading they're losing market share, their sales are down for this lap-band and then all of a sudden they sponsor this study that suddenly introduces them to a potential new 27 million new clientele. does it seem like a conflict of interest to have a drug company doing the study or is that just the way it's done? >> the problem here, anderson, is gastric bypass surgery generally costs between $20,000 and $30,000 to do. lap-band surgery is $12,000 to $20,000 generally to do. this is going to eliminate a lot of other medical therapies. there are going to be people not attempting to control their nutrition quite as much, they're
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not going to be trying less invasive opportunities that might be available treatment wise either medically or just lifestyle wise, they're not going to investigate those things. instead they're going to say, okay, i want the lap-band, shrink my stomach up by creating this pouch and then i'll be there. but i can tell you, i've dealt with people over the years who eat right through this lap band. they eat right through it. and it can expand into the pouch and they're right back where they were. there is a recidivism rate for both gastric bypass and lap-band. i'm not saying that properly used it's not a legitimate medical therapy because i think it is, sanjay. you can comment on that better than i. but i think we have to be -- we have to use some discrimination in the way that it's applied. >> right s it being applied too soon i guess that's the question. are there other avenues being explored, sanjay? >> when you first heard about these types of operations made available, it was always sort of again a last resort, people who had tried everything and simply couldn't do it.
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and in that case, as dr. phil said, i think it is a legitimate option for people. i guess i think the concern for a lot of people is that the -- you know, seems to be moving in the other direction now. a bmi of 30, that is the -- that is the sort of lowest indication of someone who is obese. it used to be 40, now they're saying someone with a bmi as low as 30 if they have a medical condition can have this done. you know, i think the concern is, are more and more people just going to go to this as a first option. culturally, i don't know how it's all going to play out. but i think that's the big concern right now. this is the advisory committee stage, so i think that's what a lot of people are concerned about. >> a lot of good information. dr. phil, thank you, dr. sanjay gupta. be careful what you post on facebook, no drinking, no drugs, no nudity, so why is this guy the latest edition to the ridiculist?
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time now for the ridiculist, and tonight the honor goes to the facebook thief. this guy. we don't know his name. we know his game, however. the story comes from mark fisher, writer for "the washington post." on friday a burglar broke into his house, stealing his 15-year-old son's ipod, laptop, savings bond and cash. then here's the real slap in the facebook. the thief opened the son's computer, took a picture of himself holding said cash, went to the kid's own facebook account, poeftsed the picture for the son's 400 friends to see. talk about an anti-social network. mark fisher says the thief is wearing his brand-new coat stolen right out of the box it came in. fisher handed the picture over to police but the investigation doesn't seem to be getting off the ground. fisher even wrote that officers
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told him that they rarely press hard on burglary cases because they usually just get probation, so the facebook thief is still at large and living large. and facebook founder mark zuckerberg has just been named "time" magazine's person of the year over the chilean miners and others they considered. that's a real sign of the times. as zuckerberg counts his billions, let's reflect on what he's created. you can play excruciatingly long games of scramble with people you don't know or frankly don't like. get back in touch with the guy who stalked you in high school, pretend you live on a farm or the mafia, or take a picture of yourself committing a crime. not to get all henry david throw on you but technology really is something, isn't it? just think not that many years ago the thief would have to to bring his own camera, get film, drop it off at cvs, wait an hour, make copies and then hand deliver them to all the victim's
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400 friends. that would be so tiring. that would take forever. now within a few seconds the facebook thief was in full off gloat mode. and also on the ridiculist. a lot more at the top of the hour starting with the growing possibility for senators repealing don't ask don't tell and the sankty of christmas. [ male announcer ] this is steven, a busy man.
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tonight, senator joe lieberman says the votes are there, including five republicans for lifting don't ask, don't tell. lawmakers, racing to do that and a whole lot more. but now they're fighting over working through the holidays. some republicans, accusing democrats of disrespecting christmas and christians. we're keeping them honest. >> also surgery for the obese, at least it used to be just for the very obese. now millions more americans could be eligible for what's
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called lap-band surgery. but do the people pushing it, the companies pushing it, really have the data to show that it works and it's safe? who's looking out for you? dr. phil mcgraw and sanjay gupta join us. and a deeper look at what happened in that dramatic meeting room as a gunman came in and opened fire on a school board. new details of who he was and the amazing stories of survival, that's coming up. we begin as always keeping them honest with major developments on repealing don't ask don't tell, and a major argument over whether or not congress should keep working into the christmas holiday. in a moment, we're going to actually show you just how many days a year congress actually does work and compare that to how many days a year, well, just about everybody else has to work. but first, the senate began debate on the budget bill and the house voted on the bill, to lift don't ask, don't tell. >> the yeas are 250.
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the nays are 175. the motion is adopted. without objection, a motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. >> well, in a moment we'll talk to senator joe lieberman who says that now he has enough votes, enough republican votes even, to pass it in the senate. majority leader harry reid has the power, if he wants to use it, to bring it to the floor for vote as early as tomorrow. senator reid's office says it's likely going to happen late next week. meantime, opponents of the repeal and of ratifying the s.t.a.r.t. nuclear arms treat is angry at the plan to keep them in washington next week and it touched off a food fight seems like you only can have in washington, d.c. only this time the senators who don't want to miss out on their vacation are bringing christianity into the argument. >> it is impossible to do all of the things that the majority leader laid out without doing frankly without disrespecting the institution and without disrespecting one of the two
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holiest of holidays for christians and the families of all of the senate, not just the senators themselves, but all of the staff. >> senator jim demint echoed that argument telling politico and i quote, we shouldn't be jamming a major arms control treaty up against christmas. it's sacreligious and disrespectful. what's going on is wrong. they did the same thing last year, they kept everybody here until christmas eve to force something down everybody's throat. i think americans are sick of this. harry reid shot back with this. >> i don't need to hear the lectures of senator kyl and demint to remind me of what christmas means. my question, madam president, is where were their concerns about christmas, filibuster after filibuster on major pieces of legislation during this entire congress? not once, but 87 times. >> all right. for the record, senator reid is right there, there have been 87 filibusters, but also for the
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record, democrats joined some of those filibusters and as recently as last week with the clock ticking down toward the holds, independent senator bernie sanders took up nine hours of senate time speaking against the tax deal. as for the complaints by congress people about having to work until christmas, only in washington would that seem like a crazy idea. and it got us wondering how much do these congress people actually work in washington, d.c.? well, take a look at the numbers. 123 and 151. that's how many days the house and senate have actually been in session so far this year. 123 and 151. now, traditionally they don't like to work on friday so they can all go back to their districts and raise money and shake hands and try to get themselves re-elected which is certainly work, but it's not the kind of work that actually gets legislation passed. by the way, according to the bureau of labor statistics, the average american with a full-time job with five years on the job, they get 14 paid vacation days and 11 sick days. allowing for the weekends, that
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adds up to 220 or so workdays so far this year. in other words, the average american has worked 71 more days so far this year than senators have. nearly 100 more days than house members. and that's not counting the holidays. i know working during the holidays is not fun, but people whose jobs are essential, they do it all the time. airline employees, doctors, nurses, police, firefighters, utility crews, trash collectors, you name it. they work because they have important and essential jobs. wouldn't it be nice to think that our representatives also considered their jobs important and essential? senator joe lieberman, like reid and a number of republicans, are willing to work through the holiday this year to finish the job, especially on don't ask, don't tell. i spoke with senator lieberman about what he sees as growing chance of repealing the policy early tonight. senator lieberman, you said this has been a thrilling day. >> well, most thrilling is the vote in the house of representatives which acted on our standalone bill, passed the repeal by a larger margin than when the repeal was adopted by
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the house in may, and picked up ten more republicans. so this now comes to the senate with some real momentum. and here's the other good news today and i take it to be thrilling as well, olympia snowe, republican of maine, said she will vote on the stand alone of don't ask, don't tell, that means we've got 61 members of the u.s. senate publicly committed to the repeal of don't ask, don't tell. so all that will stop that repeal is a totally unacceptable refusal to bring our measure up in a timely way. we've got to get this done. we can get it done. it's an injustice. it's time for it to go. >> having all those republicans sign measures saying that they're not going to do anything until the tax cut deal is done? >> yeah. so the tax cut -- actually, the tax cut is of course passed the senate, now today. the republicans who signed that letter said they wouldn't take
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anything else up until the appropriations passed. i think that will happen this weekend. it's pretty clear to all of us that we're going to stay here into next week. let me just get down into the weeds quickly a little bit. the house of representatives, with very strong support from the leadership, is sending the repeal of don't ask, don't tell legislation to the senate under a special procedure, which means that senator reid can take it up at any time he wants and going to the bill is not subject to a filibuster. that saves us two or three days of calendar time. we can get this whole thing done in 2 1/2 or maybe three days. if we're not capable of taking the time to do something that the secretary of defense, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff want us to do, that everybody in the country, or most people acknowledge, is an injustice, shame on us. i think we're going to make it happen before we leave. >> there have been a number of folks who are saying the repeal's fate is going to come down to basically a proxy war between the president and your
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friend, senator john mccain, and whoever does more to try to exert their influence in the last days is going to win. do you think that's a fair assessment? >> look. there may be a battle there, but we've got 61 votes. i've been saying this, people thought i was puffing, but i knew i had those votes and i know i've got at least one more republican who will come with me. and you know, in the senate, you don't need 51, you need 60. we've now got 61 and i believe 62. so whatever is going on between other figures about this legislation, the 62 senators have to work their will. and it would be disappointing to the point of infuriating if with that kind of support in the senate, having passed the house today, that the repeal of don't ask, don't tell is not accomplished before christmas. we've got to do it. >> and the top general in the marine corps, general james amos has just recently said that he thinks repealing it would be a,
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quote, distraction for marines in combat, suggested this could result in more casualties. were you surprised he made those comments at this critical juncture? and do you think those comments have had an impact on anybody? >> i was very surprised by general amos's comments. i know he's against the repeal. i respectfully just think he's absolutely wrong. 84% of marines who have served with gay or lesbian marines say that it has absolutely no effect on their functioning as a military unit, or their morale or their cohesiveness or their effectiveness. so that's the opinion of rank and file marines. >> when do you see the senate actually voting on this? >> well, you know, anderson, because the house leadership sent this repeal to the senate under what they call a special message category, senator reid could take it up tomorrow. my guess is he'll wait until after we finish the appropriations bill over the weekend and so i hope it could
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come up sunday or monday of next week. and i -- i really believe that after the tax cuts have been passed, which they have been in the senate, the spending bills for the government are approved, this is the next most important and urgent thing to do. let me just talk straight, hard, political reality. if we don't repeal don't ask, don't tell in this 111th session of congress, the new congress, i'm afraid, is not going to repeal it, and then we'll have to depend on the courts to repeal it, and secretary gates and the defense department have made it clear as recently as today in responding to the house vote how urgent they feel it is that the congress give them the authority to carry out the repeal of don't ask, don't tell in an orderly way, that will not harm the military, instead of letting a court come in and perhaps creating chaos. >> do you feel like you're on the cusp of history here? >> i do.
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i think that the overall movement to end discrimination against our fellow americans based on their sexual orientation is the front lines today of the civil rights movement. and i think if we can do the repeal of don't ask, don't tell in this session, it's going to be an historic accomplishment. >> senator joe lieberman, i appreciate your time, sir. thank you. >> thank you, anderson. >> senator lieberman definitely sound optimistic. those against it still dug in, listen to what louie gohmert said about the idea that history would judge this congress poorly if the law was repealed. >> to my friend who said history will judge us poorly, i will submit if you look thoroughly at history, and i'm not saying it's cause and effect, but when militaries throughout history of the greatest nations in the world have adopted the policy that, fine, for homosexuality to be overt, you can keep it private, control your hormones, fine, if you can't, that's fine
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too. they're toward the end of their existence as a great nation. >> now, keeping them honest, mr. gohmert doesn't offer evidence or specifics about what nations he's talking about. we're not able to fact check roman military policy or greek, ancient greek military policy as it relates to gays serving openly. we can look at nations currently letting gays serve openly. here it is, the biggest ones, australia, belgium, canada, france, germany, israel, south africa, and the united kingdom, among others. 25 in all. you can decide for yourself if they're the end of their existence as great nations as congressman gohmert suggests. i spoke with repealing don't ask, don't tell as well as the congressional work ethic tonight with paul begala and dana loesch, editor at bigjournalism.com and radio host kftk radio in st. louis. paul, we just heard lieberman sounding optimistic for repeal but others sounded optimistic before last week's vote as well.
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how confident are you about the chances now? >> you know, it's usually a safe bet things die in the senate. that's been the pattern for many years now. but senator lieberman's been working this issue hard. i'm impressed senator snowe has come out in favor of it. president obama i know called her last week and personally lobbied her on this, so with her addition, the don't ask, don't tell repeal lost by three the last time around. so she comes around, so now the supporters only need two more. well, lisa murkowski, the senator from alaska, republican, says she supports repeal. scott brown, senator from massachusetts, republican, he supports repeal. blanche lincoln, still senator from arkansas, she supports repeal but was at the dentist. >> she was at the dentist last time. >> maybe even joe manchin. democratic senator from west virginia. so you just need two out of those four. it's getting awfully close. so forgive me for being a little optimistic. >> what do you make about the
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brouhaha over people's schedules? a week until christmas, i'm working today, you're working today, most of the country is working today. firefighters, policemen, people with important jobs work on christmas day, work on christmas eve. are senators' complaints making any sense here about, you know -- is this really the kind of argument that's going to fly with most americans that they don't want to work up until christmas? >> yeah, i don't think so, anderson. i have no sympathy for elected officials. they knew what they were signing on for when they decided to run for elected office and when they were campaigning and they're in it for the long haul. this is about the future of the country. there's a lot of huge things at stake here and it's not like they're on the street in the cold in washington, d.c., under a cardboard box. they're in the capitol building. they have nice accommodations. so i don't feel -- i don't feel sorry for them at all. >> paul, any time, like i complain about my job or listen to these people on capitol hill complain about their jobs, like there are folks working in coal mines around the clock. people working all night long in
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bakeries, you know, and as dana said, delivering newspapers out in the cold. it kind of makes my head explode. >> in fact, this is -- it's senator kyl of arizona, republican, who's like the chief whiner about this. and senator kyl and all of his republican colleagues are the guys who blocked even debating the 9/11 health care bill. i mean, this is -- there's 58,000 men and women who inhaled frankly inhaled the pulverized particles of the world trade center. many of them are ill. they need health care. it's a national priority. the republicans filibustered against that. i guess that's in keeping with the christmas season as senator kyl is very concerned about offending his christmas celebrations. jesus would have wanted those 9/11 first responders to not get any health care. >> i heard harry reid invoke christ, what would jesus spend, i heard him talk about him on the floor. >> this is the republican talking floor. somehow if republicans have to work somehow that offends jesus. >> that's not all the republicans' talking point.
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>> yes, republicans are saying this. they want to go home because jesus would want -- >> democrats had two years. what were they doing? twiddling their thumbs? we wouldn't even be having this discussion if they had been doing something. >> this is like lincoln told the story about the man who murdered his parents and threw himself on the mercy of the court because he was an orphan, the republicans caused this. they delayed, delayed, delayed, now they want to invoke jesus because it will offend jesus if we have like a nuclear arms treaty. jesus loved nuclear weapons. jesus would love us for not to control nuclear arms with the russians. it's nuts. >> you have tens of thousands of u.s. forces serving overseas and in iraq and afghanistan for people to be complaining about their work schedule, for public officials to be complaining about their work schedule just boggles my mind. but realistically, time is running short. there is a whole lot left on the senate's plate, even if they work every available minute, can they wrap up their lame duck agenda? >> the problem is the majority doesn't rule in the senate.
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the senate is supposed to be deliberative and slow and difficult but it also, and i've checked the constitution, it's supposed to run on a majority. not 60. >> yes. >> 50. and the democrats have tried in good faith to bring up this legislation. the republicans have, using the filibuster rule which was only used once our twice a year. >> it used to be 67 votes instead of 60 and it was a democrat who changed it. >> they even filibustered the help for these 9/11 first responders. they'll filibuster anything in order to get their tax cuts for the rich. that seems to be their one agenda, which of course in the christmas season comes back to baby jesus. >> don't even go down the tax cuts for the rich paul. >> no, jesus said. didn't he say it's more difficult for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for the poor person -- >> that's the 11th commandment. paul, did you know that? that's the little known 11th commandment, written on the side margin of the tablets that moses had, thou shalt not pimp jesus for the sake of an argument. nobody. because it was written on the side because there wasn't enough room. nobody remembers that. >> i'm picking up the motif the
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republicans have given us. senator kyl has said that somehow it's going to offend the baby jesus if these guys have to work over the holiday and i just -- i've been -- >> harry reid says do it for jesus. pass the big porker omnibus bill for jesus. what would jesus spend. >> i haven't heard jesus mentioned so much in a political debate from both the left and the right. i think we're going to leave it there. paul begala and dana loesch, thank you. >> god bless you. >> all right. let us know what you think. the live chat up and running at ac360.com. big news on the bp spill, federal government seeking unlimited damages, but get this, the families. 11 workers who died on that rig, they're getting the short end of that deal, thanks to a law dating back to 1920. democrats and republicans want to change the law and have been talking about it since the summer. basically one lawmaker standing in the way right now, we'll name names, keeping them honest and talk to the father of one of the killed workers.
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and we'll warn you, the images are shocking. we're talking about the shooting at a school board meeting. new details on the gunman that tried but fortunately failed to become a mass murderer. >> i don't think anything was going through my mind except for the fact these guys were sitting ducks. they were lined up like pigeons on a wire. [ male announcer ] how can rice production in india affect wheat output in the u.s., the shipping industry in norway, and the rubber industry in south america? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex global economy. it's just one reason os beat their10-year lipp. t. rowe price.invest . request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment objectives, risks, fees, expenses, and other information to read and consider carefully before investing. into revolutionary performance.
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(announcer) icy hot patches. targeted no-mess relief. icy to dull pain. hot to relax it away. pain's no match for the icy hot patch. today, the justice department announced a massive civil action against bp drilling contractor transocean and several other defendants in the bp oil spill, accusing them of failing to take necessary precautions to prevent the blowout seeking unlimited liability under federal oil pollution act plus fines under the clean water act. remember, now, 11 rig workers died in the initial explosion. but an obscure law from 1920 limits what their families can collect. keith jones is the father of gordon jones who died on the deepwater horizon and left a wife and a baby behind. >> we know gordon's body was cremated. then the fire boats washed his ashes out to sea.
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i admit having nothing to say good-bye to is much, much harder than i thought it would be. call it closure or whatever, something is missing for us. if you want these companies, one of which is headquartered in great britain and another in switzerland, to make every effort to make sure their employees don't act as these did, putting american lives at risk, you must make certain they're exposed to pain and the only place they can feel it, their bank accounts. as a friend recently said, make them hurt where their heart would be if they had a heart. >> as we mentioned, this obscure law called the death on the high seas act, passed in 1920, it limits what gordon's family and others can collect, lost wages and income, not for example the pain of growing up without a father or spouse's loss of
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companionship and care. for months we've covered this story, and changing the law, it's got a lot of bipartisan support. a measure passed the house back in july, but similar legislation has now stalled in the senate largely because of a single senator, republican jim demint. >> is there objection? >> reserving the right to object, madam president, this is a nation of laws not of men. it destroys that whole foundation to our legal system when we make retroactive law. this bill has not been vetted properly by a committee, and again, it undermines our whole system of the rule of law. so i am compelled to object. >> that was senator jim demint, republican of south carolina, last week. a spokesman explaining his action in a statement today, quote, while senator demint sympathizes with the victims of this tragedy, he's concerned congress should not retroactively change the law to specifically affect pending legislation. in english, he doesn't want to change the rules in the middle of the game.
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leaving aside the fact this is not a game, senator demint has actually done precisely this before. he's actually changed the rules involving exactly the same law. keeping them honest, ten years ago the death on the high seas act was amended after the twa 800 crash to provide compensation for the surviving families of a group of school kids who died on board. and guess who one of the lawmakers who supported that change was? then-congressman jim demint. same law, similar changes. so why now the difference? well, earlier this year senator demint also blocked a bill that would have given the bipartisan commission investigating the bp spill subpoena power. a bill that passed with overwhelming gop support. is it the changing the law back only affected a dying airline not a multi national oil company? well, you can decide that for yourself. we're joined now by attorney keith jones, father of gordon jones, who died on the deepwater horizon.
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you say this is draconian, outdated and frankly unfair. >> well, of course it is. i think we looked at wrongful death in 1920 differently than we do now. back then, the -- it seems like -- well, for one thing, industrial accidents there were a lot more wrongful deaths than there are now. but we've come to realize in this country that a life is a whole lot more than just a paycheck. i know my daughter-in-law and grandsons have lost far, far more than just monthly income. >> what's so frustrating about this is back when there was a lot of attention this summer, the house version of this legislation passed, had a lots of support, passed in july. you expected it to pass with unanimous consent in the senate. now people aren't paying attention, the media's not paying attention as much as they were. were you surprised when senator demint blocked it? >> i was surprised. first of all, although the bill that we got through the house
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was very wide ranging and broad and made the death on the high seas act fair for everybody, the bill, because of the interests of special interest influence has been reduced now to providing more adequate damages only for the victims of the deepwater horizon. it won't affect anything in our american judicial system that senator demint's so worried about, other than just these claims by these 11 families. so i was surprised when he objected. no one in his -- on his staff had every indicated -- my son visited his office and no one indicated he would object. but what astonishes me is that he's still the only man in the senate, only senator who objects. and despite the fact that it is 99-1 or whatever, he won't relent. his staffer keeps explaining to me that he has the right to do it and the power to do it. and i don't question that.
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he's a powerful man and he's exerting that power on these 11 families, but to what end? that's the part i don't understand. the retroactivity issue is -- he's turned on its head. the united states supreme court first decided congress could pass laws that retroactively affect pending cases back in 1800. they've made dozens of decisions that said the same thing, that's always been our law. >> right. >> congress has always had that power. >> well, also, i mean -- >> and to say -- >> i'm sorry. especially when you could say, okay, he's making a principled stand or whatever, but when you look at his own record on this very same law regarding twa flight 800, then, you know, it doesn't make sense. >> and since i haven't been able yet to speak to senator demint and i suppose i never will, i've had to speak to the policy staffer that will discuss it
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with me, and she just says she has no explanation for it. the senator has no explanation for it. they say that was ten years ago, that's the way he voted then, but he's not going to vote that way now, and why there's a difference, i wish i knew. >> yeah. >> i could appeal to him on the basis of that, i suppose. >> we obviously invited him on the program tonight. he declined that invitation. we will continue to figure out get an answer if we can from him. i just wanted to ask, i talked to you a little in the break, but your son died on the deepwater horizon. i know these are the first holidays your family is facing without him. how are you guys holding up? >> well, michelle and those boys have a lot of family and friends that love them very much and are doing everything they can to support them. but the holidays are not easy. i -- i'm kind of new at this.
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i never really lost anybody before, let alone my youngest child. and i -- as i told you in the break, i never thought i'd say i dread christmas, but i do. >> yeah. i was telling you again during the break when i lost my brother and even my dad when i was a kid, it took me years to be able to celebrate christmas again, and even now it's -- i think for anyone who's lost somebody around the holidays it's a bittersweet time. but i've been thinking about you and gordon especially on thanksgiving, i really was thinking about you guys, and i'm glad you're on tonight, and we'll continue to follow this for justice to be done. keith jones, thank you. >> thank you, anderson. next coming up in crime and punishment, it was an unthinkable scenario, played out what should have been a typical school board meeting in florida, a gunman opening fire before he got wounded by a security guard, turning the gun on himself. board members describing a simply surreal scene, as you see it for yourself. >> if you have could have seen that gentleman's eyes, this was going to happen.
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tonight in crime and punishment, it began as a routine school board meeting in panama city, florida, turned into a horrifying scene, want to warn you again, it is disturbing. 56-year-old clay duke, we now know his name, brandishing a gun, ordered everybody but six male board members out of the
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room, then started shooting. amazingly, none of the school board members got hit. duke was wounded by a security guard and then killed himself. after duke ordered everyone out but the six men, board member ginger littleton came back in, tried to knock the gun out of his hand with her purse. take a look. >> go ahead. >> who's your wife? >> no, no, ginger. >> what could ginger have been thinking, incredibly brave. today she told the story. >> that's pretty much what was going through my mind. i was concerned about my guys. they were lined up like ducks in a row. he was already basically standing on the same level with them. i knew something bad was going to happen. that was my only option was to see if i could at least divert him or somehow or other detain until somebody got there to help us.
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because my guys had three ring binders and pencils for protection and that was all. my thought was that plan a had failed and i didn't have a plan b, which was probably not one of the smartest things i ever did. he wanted to be killed rather than kill, but as time passed, obviously it appeared he was getting more and more ready to do some real damage. >> ginger, the other folks in the room, say was surreal, life changing moment that left them without sleep and trying to make sense of what happened and also left a big question to which we're starting to get answers, just who was the shooter, clay duke? tom foreman investigates. >> please don't. please don't. please. >> reporter: the school board members who came under fire from clay duke did not know at the time who he was. only that he seemed intent on violence. >> if you could have seen that gentleman's eyes, this was going to happen. >> he had the gun and we felt helpless. >> reporter: now much more is known. duke was 56 and police say
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fixated on this movie, "v for vendetta," the tale of a lone fighter standing up to oppression. >> those responsible will be held accountable. >> reporter: along with military tactical books and anti-government, investigators found a copy of the film in clay's home. he painted a symbol from the story on the school boardroom wall and it also topped what appeared to be his facebook page, along with this. some people, the government sponsored media will say i was evil. a monster. "v." no. i was just born poor in a country where the wealthy manipulate, use, abuse, and economically enslave 95% of the population. rich republicans, rich democrats, same-same. >> i think it's just safe to say at this point that obviously mr. duke had some mental health issues that he was addressing and suffering from and that that may have in some way, shape or form played into how that come about. >> reporter: an attorney who once represented him says 11
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years ago clay duke stalked a former wife with an ak-47 rifle, a silencer, mask and bullet-proof vest. even firing a shot at her car. he says duke was diagnosed as bipolar, that he was a survivalalist let go from a navy job for making threatening remarks. further more at the time he says duke was stuck on the idea that the year 2000 was going to signal some sort of cataclysm. nonetheless, duke agreed to a plea deal, spent the better part of five years in prison and came off parole just last february. when he entered the school board meeting, police say he was carrying a 9 millimeter pistol. he had an extra clip hidden in his pocket and a box of ammo. the only fact he revealed, he said his wife had been fired by the schools. >> we have clarified this morning that in fact she had been employed as a teacher by the school board and within the
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last year her employment had been terminated. >> reporter: it's not clear why but she says she is now broke and suggests the couple's difficulties may have pushed her husband over the edge. >> he had changed. he'd been on medication. he had not been a problem to anyone. his records through prison, through his probation, through everything from being off, he was trying to make it. trying to get a second chance. doing everything he could on his part. but other people wouldn't give him a chance. still ahead tonight, the weight loss surgery that could be approved for millions more americans. the question is, does the data support changing the rules for lap-band surgery? is it really safe? we're keeping them honest. dr. phil mcgraw and sanjay gupta join us. and we'll tell you why this guy ended up on the ridiculist. note to would-be thieves, please don't look to this guy for tips. he may be a sign of the times but not in a good way.
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adults are owe beez. we all know that. we hear about the epidemic all the time and how much it costs the health care system. want to show you something. take a look at this ad. >> i tried diets, diet pills, exercise programs. nothing worked. then my doctor recommended the lap band system. >> that's an ad for lap-band surgery, a type of weight loss surgery that's heavily promoted by companies that obviously make the bands used. the company called allergan, it made that ad. a lot of money, but about 4% less than last year, according to news reports. which may explain why allergan is trying to expand the market for its lap-band. it's asking the fda to approve the device for less obese people. right now it's only approved for
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people with a body mass index or bmi of 40, or those with a bmi of 35 who have health problems like diabetes. allergan wants to lower those bmi cutoffs to 35 and 30. looks like they're going to be successful. a panel recently voted to lower the bmi cutoffs. a final decision from the fda is pending. if it follows the panel's advice, 27 million more people could qualify for the surgery. that's a huge number. but here's what has some people crying foul. the study that the panel based its decision on, guess who they were sponsored by? the study was conducted by allergan, the same company that stands to benefit from the ruling. what's more, the chairman of the company actually owns stock in allergan, the fda told us she was given a waiver to sit on the panel and didn't actually cast a vote. but four panelists who did vote reportedly have financial ties to allergan. a fda spokesperson was unable to immediately confirm those reported ties and said she'd get back to us, and we're still
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waiting to hear from her. i want to make this very clear. this story is complex because for some severely obese patients this type of surgery can be vital, even life-saving treatment. but right now there aren't long-term studies showing how well it works in less severely-obese people. i talked about all this with sanjay gupta and phil mcgraw. sanjay, how does the surgery work exactly? it's different than the gastric bypass surgery. >> that's right. gastric bypass is more invasive, this is still invasive to be clear, they classify it as minimally invasive. but basically think of it like this. i mean, you're essentially putting a band, in this case it's sort of a silicone band and wrapping it around the stomach. think of it like a seat belt, if you will, and you're trying to shrink the size of the stomach. you see the band there. over time that band sort of just creates a smaller pouch and the theory is that as a result you eat less, have less appetite. that's what they say, makes this work. >> so under the new guidelines you're talking about tens of millions of people who would
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suddenly be qualified to have this surgery. dr. phil, are people going to hear this and then say why bother dieting? if suddenly, you know, this surgery is easily accessible? >> that's the problem, anderson, and i think sanjay will probably agree with this. i think this is one of the most misperceived procedures out there, both gastric bypass and lap-band. people think this is the easy way. and if you ever talk to anybody that's had one of these procedures, they will tell you it's anything but easy. and the problem -- you can hear them talk all they want, the rhetoric about, well, this can help with diabetes or hypertension, and there's always a return to health when you lose weight, but what's going to draw people to this, you think, okay, finally i have an appetite control and i can lose weight. but this is not easy. there are side effects and over 70% of the cases. people have pain, vomiting, there are all of the normal complications you can have with surgery. and the long-term effects of
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this have yet to be well demonstrated. there's one way and one way only that you can lose weight and keep it off and that is to alter your lifestyle. >> i was reading this study, sanjay. do we really know enough about the risks associated with this, to be offering it up as a solution to obesity? the study was limited, only 149 people were studied, most of them white women, not a lot of african-americans or hispanics or men in the study, and it was actually sponsored by allergan, which is the maker of this band. >> you know i think that's a really good point. and even though it was supposed to be a five-year study, the data that was actually presented to this advisory committee was just about a year's worth of data. and to dr. phil's point, people may gain this weight back over time. so that's a real concern as well. that band may stretch. there are real potential complications of this particular band. it is fair, a lot of companies that make drugs or do procedures a lot of times will fund the studies on those particular drugs or procedures, but in this case, the real question was, you
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know, you're opening this up potentially to 27 million more people. and it's sort of, you know, it was sort of always thought of as a last resort, possibly going to some sort of operation. in this case they're sort of seeming to move the line even earlier. >> you know, just on the face of it, dr. phil, and i know nothing about this company, i have nothing against them, but i'm reading they're losing market share, their sales are down for this lap-band and then all of a sudden they sponsor this study that suddenly introduces them to a potential new 27 million new clientele. does it seem like a conflict of interest to have a drug company doing the study or is that just the way it's done? >> the problem here, anderson, is gastric bypass surgery generally costs between $20,000 and $30,000 to do. lap-band surgery is $12,000 to $20,000 generally to do. this is going to eliminate a lot of other medical therapies. there are going to be people not attempting to control their nutrition quite as much, they're not going to be trying less invasive opportunities that might be available treatment
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wise either medically or just lifestyle wise, they're not going to investigate those things. instead they're going to say, okay, i want the lap-band, shrink my stomach up by creating this pouch and then i'll be there. but i can tell you, i've dealt with people over the years who eat right through this lap band. they eat right through it. and it can expand into the pouch and they're right back where they were. there is a recidivism rate for both gastric bypass and lap-band. i'm not saying that properly used it's not a legitimate medical therapy because i think it is, sanjay. you can comment on that better than i. but i think we have to be -- we have to use some discrimination in the way that it's applied. >> right. is it being applied too soon, i guess that's the question, or are other avenue news being explored, sanjay. >> when you first heard about these types of operations made available, it was always sort of again a last resort, people who had tried everything and simply couldn't do it. and in that case, as dr. phil said, i think it is a legitimate option for people. i guess i think the concern for
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a lot of people is that the -- you know, seems to be moving in the other direction now. a bmi of 30, that is the -- that is the sort of lowest indication of someone who is obese. it used to be 40, now they're saying someone with a bmi as low as 30 if they have a medical condition can have this done. you know, i think the concern is, are more and more people just going to go to this as a first option. culturally, i don't know how it's all going to play out. but i think that's the big concern right now. this is the advisory committee stage, so i think that's what a lot of people are concerned about. >> a lot of good information. dr. phil, thank you, dr. sanjay gupta, thank you very much. appreciate it guys. coming up, the ridiculist. we've told you before be careful what you post on facebook. no drinking, no drugs, no nutdty in this picture, so why is this guy the latest addition to the ridiculist? we'll tell you in a moment. we asked people all over america where the best potatoes come from.
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the best potatoes? idaho. idaho! idaho. and how do you know you're getting idaho potatoes? well...uh... uhm... heh.. (sighs) not all potatoes come from idaho. so if you want the best, you have to do one important thing. always look for the grown in idaho seal. i knew that. i knew that. look for the grown in idaho seal.
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time now for the ridiculist, and tonight the honor goes to the facebook thief. this guy. we don't know his name. we know his game, however. the story comes from mark fisher, writer for "the washington post." on friday a burglar broke into his house, stole a bunch of stuff, including his 15-year-old son's ipod, laptop, savings bond and cash. then here's the real slap in the facebook. the thief opened the son's computer, took a picture of himself holding said cash, went to the kid's own facebook account, posted the picture for the son's 400 friends to see. talk about an anti-social network. mark fisher says the thief is wearing his brand-new coat
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stolen right out of the box it came in. fisher handed the picture over to police but the investigation doesn't seem to be getting off the ground. fisher even wrote that officers told him that they rarely press hard on burglary cases because they usually just get probation, so the facebook thief is still at large and living large. and facebook founder mark zuckerberg has just been named "time" magazine's person of the year over the chilean miners and others they considered. that's a real sign of the times. as zuckerberg counts his billions, let's reflect on what he's created. on facebook, you can play excruciatingly long games of scrabble with people you don't know or frankly don't even like. get back in touch with the guy who stalked you in high school, pretend you live on a farm or the mafia, whatever those games are, or take a picture of yourself committing a crime and make sure your friends see it instantly. not to get all henry david throw on you but technology really is something, isn't it? just think not that many years ago the thief would have to to bring his own camera along, buy film, take the picture, drop it
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off at cvs, wait an hour, pick up his pictures, make a bunch of copies and then hand deliver them to all the victim's 400 friends. that would be so tiring. that would take forever. now thanks to social network, the facebook thief was in full-on gloat mode and also the ridiculist. of an effervescent packed in a liquid-gel for all over relief! hiyah! dude!
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